Beginning of 2005 busy for BI

Barney Beal

Many predict 2005 will be a big year for the business intelligence (BI) market, and the early start seems to have given way to several announcements.

McLean, Va.-based MicroStrategy Inc. ended January with the release of MicroStrategy 8. The new release aims to provide a complete BI platform with reporting, analysis and performance monitoring.

MicroStrategy added functionality to its reporting tool with a new design, allowing business users to dig into reports without IT support. New layout capabilities mean they can also change formatting without support.

The company has also added a new data mining and predictive analysis module to integrate data mining into mainstream reports. The tool can import modules from other venders using predictive modeling markup language.

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Additionally, the Enterprise Performance Monitoring application has been redesigned for business users.

Business Objects makes midmarket move

Not to be outdone, Paris-based Business Objects unveiled a midmarket initiative on the same day as MicroStrategy's release.

The initiative includes a launch of Crystal Server XI, a reporting application for small and medium-sized businesses, and an expanded partner and reseller network that has more than 3,000 participants and offers specialized services and support.

Hyperion buys Razza

Meanwhile, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Hyperion Solutions Corp. bolstered its performance management arsenal with the purchase of Razza Solutions Inc., a private software company in Austin, Texas.

Razza provides applications for synchronizing master data across BI platforms, financial and analytical applications, and transactional systems.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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